The following story is rather fascinating to say the least. I was actually looking for some information on the Andre Agassi 'tank' of 1996 against Michael Chang. This particular match was at the Australian Open in the semi finals and Agassi has stated in his book that he was not the least bit interested in winning the match.
The reasons given from Andre stemmed from his dislike of Boris Becker who was waiting in the final for either himself or Chang and he felt his form was not up to beating Boris. He opted for a loss to Chang instead. I find that nothing short of fascinating but in some sort of way acceptable.
If a player is not up to the task at hand then should the following match be between two players who are willing to give 100 per cent rather than a token gesture ? I believe that the mindset of Agassi back then may have been just that. He was not interested in playing Boris so he didn't even try to get to that match. For history's sake Boris Becker won the final in straight sets.
Whilst looking for the above information on the net I found the story of the two Argentine players (next chapter) who perhaps 'fixed' a match in 2011. That was a totally bizarre result and the story is worth a read. I must admit as I wrote in another chapter a while back I have had a few dollars on a tennis match however it was a big final, the Australian Open in 2005 between Safin and Hewitt.
As far as early round matches in smaller tournaments well I would not go near them, particularly in the smaller clay court events where friends play friends for smaller prize money. It seems from the following story that there is a larger prize off court available from people 'setting up' certain matches. To be in a winning position and then retire 'injured' has to be a sure sign that things are going on outside of the court.
I wonder how many dollars were won and lost on the Agassi/Chang match back in 1996 and I wonder if anyone who lost money on Andre has since written to him and asked for their money back ? Be worth a try I reckon.......